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tv   To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe  PBS  April 11, 2010 9:30am-10:00am EDT

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>> bonnie: this week on "to the contrary": teen pregnancy rates drop, but more women over 40 are having kids. then, stuck in the middle: women with federal jobs find it hard to advance. behind the headlines: children living with diabetes. [ ♪music ] >> bonnie: hello, i'm bonnie erbé. welcome to "to the contrary," a discussion of news and social trends from diverse perspectives. up first, fewer teens giving birth. new national birth rate data show an increase in births among
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older women and a drop among teens. according to the centers for disease control, the birth rate for women aged 40 to 44 rose by 4%, the highest level since 1967. but for younger women the rates are declining. teen pregnancy, which increased in 2006 and 2007, went down by 2 percentage points in 2008. it's too soon to say whether this is a reversal of the trend of teen pregnancy rising, or just a statistical aberration. there were also declines in the birth rate for women in their 20s and 30s. federal officials say this may be due to more women postponing motherhood due to a failing economy. so kim gandy, why has the teen birth rate dropped, but it's risen for women over 40?
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that's until their '40s. >> i think like kim, it's the economy. women over '40s more financially stable more secure and their clock is ticking. >> i agree. i certainly hope that this teen rate continues to drop. hopefully, signaling that our teens are either getting the abstinence or the safe sex messages. >> women over 40 already have the careers and the finances, not enough time. teens on the other hand have more targeted messages from health and education and it's working. >> which is working?
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15-year-olds has dropped substantially, by almost a half. the older teens where the numbers of have stayed the same. i think abstinence among it too but the rates have gone up from 79 to 81% for those who are active sexually. >> certainly, abstinence is part of the sex education message but the difficulty has always been with the idea of abstinence only. as the mother of teenagers i think abstinence is a fine idea but there's got to be more than that. the health message is important and the message is what are the options and frankly not lying to their kids and telling them
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condoms don't work. that's got to change. >> yeah but i also think that the whole recession has had a tremendous impact. these teenagers depend on their parents. who knows if they have jobs or don't have jobs? to exacerbate the matter that's a hue consideration. i do agree, i think the programs we've had have helped but i think at the same time the lack of employment and the issues that we're facing have really had a dramatic impact. >> bonnie: so the women over 40 having babies are more financially secure despite the -- i mean if it works that teens are not having as many babies, and in most of those situations, out of wedlock, what about the women over 40? they haven't been hit as hard by the recession or what? >> i think they have been hit hard but as kim pointed out they've waited as long as they possibly could, hoping to secure their households and their finances and their career but ultimate we're seeing we've come
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so far in each in iu 486 wasn't available for example. >> you keep hearing advertised on the radio, when you're 35 years of age they would say it's a high risk pregnancy. high risk it's just more technology to help them, monitor and measure the fetal development is proper and that things are going to be okay. >> bonnie: i'd like you to speak to that since -- >> that's what i'm seeing in practice. women are realizing yes there are risks but since there's all this technology that can help me know in advance of birth i'm willing to take that risk and for whatever reason thayer riskg to take that chance.
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she's done a video that's gone viral with her son, tripp at her side all dressed up saying, i was able to get through this, because i come from a wealthy well-known family and i have a lot of family support. if i didn't it would be a whole different picture and the picture changes to her poor tee shirt and jeans and an empty apartment and the baby in die diapers not dressed up. one that teens will listen to? >> i think she's very fortunately to have, i think she's got a television show coming up and all kinds of opportunities. absolutely, i think there will be lots of followers that will listen to that message. >> unless of course they look at that and say oh my parents have money too. and therefore it's okay. >> bonnie: yes, exactly there are some problems with that
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message. from women having babies to women at work. as the nation's largest employer, the federal government often sets the tone for private industries. and that may be bad news for high-achieving women. this, according to a new report from the group federally employed women, or few. while the report shows steady growth and near equal representation of women in lower ranking federal jobs, men continue to outnull women in -- out number women in senior executive service or ses positions. between 1992 and 2003 the percentage of female ses employees more than doubled. but growth has since slowed, with women representing about 30% of ses employees in 2009. women's rights groups were hoping the obama administration would promote the hiring of women into ses positions, the newly created white house council on women and girls was created to do just that, but the and other things, but the
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early results are not good. so is it possible karen that the obama administration which is all about diversity, and is doing a worse job than the bush administration which took more of a color blind approach, color blind gender blind approach to hiring is doing worse in the term of hiring women civil servants? >> the, number of reasons why women in particular won't consider, can't get in that type line for it. number one it takes a lot of time to train in those candidate forums. nobody has got the money to do it. most agency money is sent directly to the states, by formulas sent by congress. the first thing that goes when you have a tight budget is the training dollars. and third, every administration
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puts their senior executives through a lot of anguish that a lot of women won't put themselves in the firing line because of the -- >> bonnie: what kind of anguish? what do you mean? >> every administration, republican and dreat democrat that comes in -- >> bonnie: these are not political appointments. >> i know that. >> bonnie: theories civil service. the president doesn't chrome that. >> having been a political appointee, ten years in that i know a lot about it. when you have to work with people with the changing priorities at the top if they say we want x to happy, it will take a couple of years, we don't care how it's happening we want it to happen now. those people are under extreme duress and pressure. every administration does this and women oftentimes won't put themselves in that direct firing line because you're held accountable for those million dollar budgets. it's a very, very tough thing to do. >> bonnie: kim. >> if you look at the statistics up there some of them were
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missing and it started in 1992 when bill clinton came in and women's representation almost doubled during the eight years of the clinton administration and it's kind of stalled since then although we only know about a year into the obama administration -- >> bonnie: what happened under bush and what happened under obama? >> well it seems to have stalled under bush. since obama's come in all we have is the first year's worth of data and a lot of those positions were already filled. i don't think we have a good sense yet but we do know that the president hasn't done as well as we had hoped he would do in terms of appointing women to hire political appointment levels. and i think it's absolutely critical that we have women in all of these levels. >> when you put it in perspective though, you look at the private sector, comparable women in the private sector they make up 14%. >> bonnie: of? >> of women in senior ranks across fortune 500 companies,
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14%. >> bonnie: versus how many in the government? >> versus 29%. >> bonnie: but don't we need that government? the government corporations follow what the government does so don't we need the government -- >> we absolutely do. >> bonnie: the government statistics to be much higher than the corporate statistics? >> we absolutely do. when i was head of eeoc, i met with executive women in government. there are systemic issues that are affecting the advancement. one of the things that happen is, in government you get promoted if you are very good technically. if you are a good investigator you get promoted. but that doesn't help you lead through others or manage through others nor does that help you develop the relationships. the government is very relationship-driven and it's also very parochial. you can't apply for a position outside of your unit because you have people waiting for ten years to get to the next level, whether or not there's a best candidate for it. >> it seems to me that we don't have enough women in the pipeline who are ready to step
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into those roles. >> bonnie: and that's a whole other issue which we'll have to tawl talk about later. behind the headlines: children and diabetes. more than 186,000 young people under the age of 20 have type 1 and type 2 diabetes. diabetes is hard enough for adults to control. but when diagnosed in children, it presents a singular set of challenges for the entire family. we at "to the contrary" explore the physical and emotional challenges faced by children with diabetes and their families. >> it's the constant vigilance, it's the managing it all the time, that makes it really difficult. >> bonnie: three-year-old samantha gibby changed her parents' lives when she was diagnosed with diabetes. >> my initial reaction to this was absolute shock, and i was very depressed and upset about it. >> bonnie: just eight days
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later 13-month-old son mack was diagnosed with the disease too. >> the first six months after our double diagnosis was a complete blur. i honestly don't really remember much in that period. i think it was just, you know, putting one foot in front of the other, and trying to get through the days, and trying to get a handle on the disease, and managing two of them. >> bonnie: technically, diabetes is a lifelong illness marked by high levels of sugar in the blood that impede the body's production of insulin. it can lead to heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease, and more. diabetes also take a financial toll. a recent study found diabetes health care costs amount to more than $200 billion each year. but diabetes is not just physically and financially draining. it can be an emotional challenge, too. >> well, think of it this way: you have your well child, and then within a span of maybe hours, you are now told that your child has a chronic
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illness with which, at present, there is no cure. this is not the type of illness where you can take penicillin for ten days and it's all over. this basically takes over your everyday life. it becomes a 24-hour-a-day operation, seven day a week, 365 day a year production. there is no vacation. none. >> bonnie: the majority of children diagnosed with diabetes have type 1. >> come on in ms. samantha. >> bonnie: dr. fran cogen has been working with children with diabetes for more than two decades. >> type 1 is where there is an absolute insulin deficiency whereby the glucose cannot get into the cells due to the inability of insulin to move the glucose into the cells. so because of the absolute lack of insulin, one must give insulin by injection to make that happen. in type 2 diabetes, you have the condition whereby you may be making insulin, but either you're make not enough, or there's a resistance to the ability of the insulin to work,
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or receptor problems. but you still have a problem with getting glucose to where it needs to be. >> bonnie: ten years ago, type 1 diabetes was referred to as "juvenile diabetes" while type 2 was the term used for cases of adult-onset diabetes exclusively. but the obesity epidemic has changed all that. children are now being diagnosed with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. dr. richard rubin, author of sweet kids, has spent his entire career working with both children and adults with diabetes. >> so 25 years ago, when i first started working with kids who had diabetes, and a kid would come into my office and say, i haven't taken my insulin for a week, which would be impossible for anybody with type 1, i would think that the kid was just making i up. i now know that very likely those kids did have type 2 diabetes. that is, they didn't have the
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immediate reaction. to not having insulin right away. type 2 diabetes is more common though certainly not exclusively, among african americans, hispanic americans, and asian pacific islanders. the prediction is that if things continue as they are, that is, if things continue as they are, as the rates of obesity continue how they are or even rise, then half of all african american girls and hispanic girls born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes during their lifetimes. >> bonnie: for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, checking blood glucose levels is vital to staying healthy. if blood glucose levels are too low, or too high, many complications can ensue, some life-threatening. to help newly diagnosed families navigate the new world of counting carbohydrates and checking insulin levels, teams of doctors and specialists step in from day one.
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dr. randi streisand is a big part of that help. >> one part of what we do is just try to help them adjust to life with the diagnosis. so getting over that initial stress. managing how they can now keep their child in all the same activities and do all the socialization that they used to do. be confident in school but fit diabetes in, so that diabetes get taken care of, but that the child still gets to be a regular child. >> bonnie: as children with diabetes become teenagers, new challenges arise. meet john paul. like the gibby kids, he was diagnosed in childhood. while there's no way around checking his blood glucose levels several times a day, he can avoid insulin shots with his insulin pump. he says the pump gives him more freedom. >> this is my pump, and it has insulin in the side cartridge where it goes into my body through this tube, through an injection site. when i press the buttons here,
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and they beep every time i hit them, and i can just control everything i need to do from i , and they beep every time i hit them, and i can just control everything i need to do from this. >> bonnie: but transferring day-to-day responsibilities from parent to teenager can be obstacle-ridden. >> the main thing really is testing, about how many times i should do it. they think i should do it about five or six times a day. i only like to do it loute three times, so they're always trying to get me to check more, and are constantly reminding me to do it. >> it's thinking about what can go wrong and what you know can go wrong, and you have no control over fixing it yet. because he's got to learn to do it all. and he's got to realize that, well, if i don't keep my numbers where it should be, i'm going to have complications when iat, 60. whereas, iat, thinking as a mom, well, what if he doesn't live to 60? >> often when i talk to parents ld bll say, you think your job s to control your child's blood sugar levels, and especially when you're young, you certainly believe that. but the fact is, that's not your job. your job is to help your child learn to control his or her own blood sugar levels.
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>> bonnie: until there is a cure, experts say the key is teaching families to manage the disease, instead of the other way 'round. for the gibby family, it's been five years since the double diagnosis. today, samantha is eight, mack is five. while the disease hasn't changed, lisa says it has become easier to manage. >> i had so many people say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. and at the time, i thougble, ld bm just not buying it. but i do think that after five years of dealing with this disease, my husband and i and the whole family, we really are stronger for it. and i think that it takes a lot of extra work and it is hard, but it's manageable. and 3 to ctil there is a cure, that is what we've got to do. >> bonnie: dr. andrea pennington, first of all welcome to the panel. i didn't get a chance to welcome you before. i healot ten yea
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way ago at an american diabetes dinner that diabetes was responsible for 25% of all health care costs and it's been doing nothing but rise since then with the obesity epidemic. is it still true, more than that now? >> we estimate that it's probably more than that. over the last three decades, we've seen it explode in number. as was pointed out here, when i was in medical school, type 2 was called adult on set. but now children, who have the disease like you used to have in your fourth and fifth decade, we're seeing health care costs rise. we think of heart attacks and kidney disease and those are all very terrible but they don't realize the financial and emotional and psychological burden that comes along with those. >> bp yonie: and also doesie't diabetes make everybody all more likely to get arterial problems
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and heart disease? >> exactly. >> bonnie: it's not just the disease itself, it's what it can promote later in life? tell us about that. >> exactly. all of that blood sugar, it's not just because you're too sweet, the african american community says, i have a lititse shulg ar. it makes all of your -- sugar. it makes you suses septegoteribe of heart attack, stroke, yen tals, men are coming up with e-- genitals, men are coming up with erecn't >> i developed gestational diabetes 22 yea way ago and i thought it would go awa de it dd not go away so i ended up going to the joplin center, in boston, only to find out i was a type 1
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diabetic. was totally misinformed. dicost't know adults could get type 1. i do wear an insulin pump. >> bonnie: has it changed your life? >> oh, absolutely. it requires so much discipline. s c much all ofention to detail. especially when you're an adult. for children, they don't want to be singled out for that type issue. so it's a whole, you know when you are trying to fit in and you're trying to find your way for an adult like me and i was travelingle i had all kinds of pe wayonal commitments and things like that, professional commitments it was very difficult to manage because it's a three pronged thing. you have the medication, you have the exercise and then you have to care about the diet and be careful about that. s c it's an emotionally drainine for me it's a daily challenge. >> bonnie: dr. pen stngton how far from a curbonnie: i and we have just done a series on genetic mapping.
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egth being able to map the human genome, why not, insulin is a hormone, right? >> yes and no. s c with type 1 we knoe jthat te body's own cells start to destroy parts of the pan crease. egtpancreas. with type 2 diabetes, i always get frustrated when pys iit he y wehare got to find a cure. we have a cure. step away from all of these high processed foods and go for a walk around the block. the reality is, type ag diabetes is preventible, it is treatable and in some cases if caught early enougw it is reversible. s c this is something we've got to get parents to recognize, that families need to recn't you don't have to ltk for a pill or some magic positions or some g huernmental stimulus plan to help you witme ia disease tht you, yourself, can prevent. >> bonntall: it is that easy o prevent it, crust stay away from processed foods and do more exercise? >> obviously if it was easy
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everybody would have had it like that. it really does tden e discnie:le and a dthemly focus but if pares would look at that from the day their children were born and not put processed foods in their babies' mouths, they wouldn't develop a taste for them. >> bonnie: all right, remember that. that's it for this edition of "to the contrary." next week, cleaning up the nation's water ss seit hds i it hease croin us on the web for "to the contrary extra". whether your views are in agreement or proto the contrar " it hease join us next time. caption technologies, inc . can
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